Over the past 12 months we have seen an increase in the number of individuals who have taken the opportunity whilst working from home to increase their knowledge, competencies, and skills. Many are taking advantage of remote working and the extra time available in their day resulting from reduced commute.
There has been a huge increase in virtual classroom sessions and study through virtual learning platforms. Although there are many advantages to this it does mean that individuals are spending more time at home and at their desk, often alone and isolated.
Studying from home isn’t easy for those that are not used to it, here are some useful tips and advice that we regularly share with our learners and apprentices.
How to study effectively
Tips for effective study at home – Some top tips and advice on how to study well at home or during lockdown.
1. Create a Study Plan
Be realistic with the time you have available. Developing a study plan is essential for study success, and to avoid falling behind consider those commitments that you just cannot get out of i.e. birthdays, events and family celebrations. Plan for the unexpected too!
2. Lark or Night Owl?
Study when you are most awake and alert. You need to be awake to study effectively. If you are a lark, plan your study periods in the early hours, when others are in bed! If a night owl, plan to study in the evenings when the house becomes quiet.
3. Create SMART Targets
Creating clear objectives and targets whilst breaking study into bitesize pieces will prevent you feeling overwhelmed. Manageable pieces are the key!
4. Reduce Study Fatigue
Study often but for short periods; be clear about your plan, e.g. what exactly do you want to achieve in a 2 hour time study session?
5. Communicate your Study Plan
Telling others about your study plans and objectives will not only psychologically prepare you for those study periods but will encourage others to give you that time and space you need.
6. Learning Style
Consider your learning style and remember to mix it up to avoid you becoming distracted or losing focus. If you are a visual learner, consider including videos, creating mind maps, using diagrams. If you learn best by reading and taking notes don’t forget to mix it up to avoid careless note taking.
7. Study Buddy
If you have a study buddy this can be really helpful and with video conferencing, you can do this remotely.
8. Block out time
If you are studying during working hours block out the time in your diary and put your “out of office” on. Be clear to your peers and other stakeholders that during this time you are unavailable.
9. Switch off Communication Technology
Switch off your email, mobile phone and video conferencing. If others see you are online there is always a temptation to ring! Let’s not get started on social media distractions.
10. Avoid Distractions
Until we settle into study there are always opportunities to be distracted. If you are at home, it could be a neighbour, pets, children, house phone or even relatives visiting. Be strong.
If you have the luxury of space, create a dedicated study zone which will allow you to leave your study resources out and even attach your plan to a wall. Ticking off when completing a session/objective is quite satisfying.
12. Take Breaks
Studying for hours on end is not ideal and to ensure you remain fresh and focussed take regular breaks. Go for a walk in the garden or walk the dog. Find and excuse to leave your study area for 15minutes at least.
Make sure you get enough sleep. Staying up until the early hours can be unproductive for study and work, can quite often leave you grumpy too.
14. Drink Water and Eat Snacks
Make sure you get enough sleep. Staying up til the early hours can be unproductive for study and work, can quite often leave you grumpy too.
Set milestones, so once achieved you have a treat. For me this was a night out; you will be amazed how having a reward will motivate you to study.
16. Family and Friends
It is important to make time for family and friends, perhaps conducting the odd video call as an alternative to travelling will help with time management. We all know how to use the software after several Lockdowns.
Good Luck from SRSCC
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